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Monday, 1 April 2013

DIY tutu dress FAIL!

I had this vision, gentle readers, of my daughter in a lovely cloud of puffy lavender tulle - a tutu dress I was going to DIY.  I was so in love with this vision that the Easter Bunny even ordered a new lavender bow hair clip and head band for her Easter basket.
Thursday evening, after my day care kids had gone home I made a run to the fabric store and picked up meter after meter of lovely lavender and light purple tulle.
I had the elastic on hand.  I had read and re-read every online tutorial I could find. I had watched all the videos. I had lavender beads and beautiful lavender ribbon to make sweet sparkly accents for this dress-to-be.   Thursday nights are my sewing class.  I showed up full of excitement with my materials in hand.  Surrounded by talented and upbeat creative women I was certain this would be the dress Audrey would wear for Easter.  So certain that I made no other arrangements.

For over two hours I measured and cut, tied and sewed. I dreamed and smiled. By the time I got home from class it was almost 10pm, a solid 3 1/2 hours after Audrey's bedtime. Please don't think me cruel, but I woke her up just so I could try the new dress on her.

It was bad. Not waking her up- shes such a good lil sleeper she just went right back to bed after without the tiniest peep- the dress.  If you could even call it that.  This tulle nightmare I had created.  It was, hands down, the biggest DIY fail of my life to date.

To begin with, the sweet, pale lavender tulle was entirely transparent. You shouldn't be able to see a child's belly button through her dress. The bottom of the dress came up way too high in the front, but if I adjusted it to be even with the back then the front of the dress way too low on Audrey's chest. The tulle was static-y and getting crumpled every time I touched it.  It was one hot mess.

That Guy, observing the situation shrugs and says "Meh, I guess she will just have to wear a different dress for Easter."   He was kidding, right?!! A different dress? After I had dreamed about this one? Worked on this one? Told everyone I was making her Easter dress??!!!!  It was getting late and That Guy suggested we go to bed.  Just  like that, as though a major calamity had not befallen me. I watched his faced carefully- he appeared to be serious and have no idea the level of stress this was causing me.   I agreed to go to bed, but made no promise to sleep. I was up almost all night thinking about the dress, how I could re-work it or save it.  With the help of our tablet I was able to obsess all night long, from our bed while Googling how to salvage tutu dresses, or at the very least how to create a whole new dress from nothing in  time for Easter.

In jumping in with both feet so enthusiastically to this DIY and frugal living world, I have created a bit of a monster. It means that I feel I am being watched, even judged on everything I do- everything I make and everything I buy. When someone sees my kids in "new" clothes one of the first question I hear is "Did you make that?"  Often times I am able to reply with much pride, "yes! I did!".  Yet if I say I did not, I sometimes feel the cloud of disapproval pass over- that I am somehow being a hypocrite, even though "new" non home made clothes for my kids are almost always second hand.
Even without judgement I still feel the expectation to always have made or done something impressive.

A friend told me recently "I really admire you.  Your kids are always dressed in clothes that match and I see photos on your Facebook of you building a recreation of the Eiffel Tower out of nothing but toothpicks and marshmallows (*she was exaggerating here*) and I have barely managed to get out of bed."  I told her that was only because I didn't post pictures of all the fails. Of all the attempts gone wrong,. Of all the times I curled up in a ball and waited for the Crafting Fairy to come make it better.  My friend suggested I post exactly those photos and stories She said it would make people feel better, people who try DIY and perhaps are not successful their first times.

So this blog is my story, but there are no photos.  The dress really was that bad.
I did go to the second hand store and buy Audrey a yellow Easter dress with big white polka dots on it.  And I did have to explain half a dozen times at church that no, I did not make this dress.

Hopefully, gentle readers, you can some how take comfort in this. :)

1 comment:

  1. Great post...I think most of us know how you feel! I tried to crochet my first sweater recently, and I attempted this in the company of experienced yarnpeople. They expressed some doubt at my technique to start, but I said nope, I know what I'm doing! I ran out of yarn, and ended up with a hideous torso band that, had it been enough to be a sweater, would have made me look about forty pounds heavier. Not exactly what I was aiming for... but it might make a fabulously ugly handbag, once I have the heart to look at it again. :-) Looking forward to your next post - hope you have better luck with your next project!